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Survivors want end to nuclear power

Those who remember atom bomb say world should never experience nuclear dangers again

The Peace Boat (Photo courtesy of gppac.net) The Peace Boat (Photo courtesy of gppac.net)
  • Perla Aragon-Choudhury, Quezon City
  • Philippines
  • April 14, 2011
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Two atomic bomb survivors have called for an end to both nuclear weapons and power while on a visit to the Philippines.

"Atomic bombs and nuclear power use the same technology, and it is a very dangerous technology," said Shoso Hirai, a volunteer guide for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Their calls come after Japan raised a nuclear alert level this week at the damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant.

"I think the Japanese government should change their policy on nuclear power and provide a safer environment in which people can live," he added.

Hirai, a member of the Association of Citizens for Supporting South Korea Atomic Bomb Victims, is one of 2,000 passengers on a “Peace Boat” that docked in Manila yesterday.

"Fighting for peace is harder than making war. I keep these words close to my heart," said another passenger, Akira Fukahori, who was 16 when the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

"I am encouraged by the activities of younger people. I would like to use the remaining years of my life giving testimony," said Fukahori, a member of the publicity committee of Nagasaki Archdiocese.

Hiroko Sakaguchi, 61, whose mother was an atomic bomb survivor, said there is a growing number of people in Japan who want to see a shift from nuclear energy "to make sure that there will be no more Hiroshimas or Nagasakis elsewhere in the world."

"I hope we can all work together. I don’t believe anybody should ever go through events like these again," said Sakaguchi during a talk with students in Quezon City yesterday.

Hirai, Sakaguchi and Fukahori are members of the Peace Boat Hibakusha Project which holds workshops and links the 1945 bombings to other global issues.

Survivors of the atomic bomb call themselves Hibakusha.

The Peace Boat itself is a non-government organization founded in 1983 by university students to works to “promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment,” according to its website.

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